Coop Design Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ToledoClucker, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. ToledoClucker

    ToledoClucker Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2012
    Hello Again :)

    I am eagerly awaiting my first order of 6 hens from Meyer Hatchery (should be here 2/28-2/29) and while waiting I thought I would get started on coop design.
    So far, I have decided on a 6' wide, 4' deep coop, (basically to allow 4 sq. ft/hen inside the coop). I plan on making it a raised coop (about 2' off the ground?) to allow for shade in the summer. I live in NW Ohio, so our weather varies greatly from 80-90s in the summer to 10-30s in winter, thus I will need plenty of ventilation and shade for the warm summer months. I am making the coop non-insulated because, from what I have gathered, as long as the hens are out of direct wind/drafts they should be able to handle the cold quite fine.
    I will make 2 external nesting boxes that will attach to the outside front left of the coop with a top access door to allow for easy-gathering of eggs.
    My questions concern the inside of the coop. I plan on using the DLM method, so I will allow extra heigth for that. Basically, I am looking to know how "tall" I should make my coop? Is there a general height guideline to follow? Secondly, how far off the floor of the coop should the bottom of the nest boxes be?
    And last but not least, should I locate roosting bars in a particular location in the coop? (ie. above the nesting boxes, opposite end, etc.), and how high should those be off the floor? I read somewhere that using a 2x4 forces the hens to sit on their feet, which will keep them warmer during the winter months, which is what I plan to do (I think! [​IMG])

    Forgot one more. I read a lot about a "pop door". I can only infer that this is the door that drops down to allow access to the ladder (forgive me, I am very new to chickens so if I am using improper terminology feel free to correct me!). My question is, if I am planning on having the coop enclosed INSIDE the run, is it necessary to have an actual door there? and if so, why? Also, is there a general guideline for the size of this hole/door?

    Thanks alot for taking the time to read/answer, I have learned a ton from everyone and am very excited about this new hobby!
  2. ScottM

    ScottM Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm getting my hens this weekend, but from what I've read . . .

    The roosts should be above the poop boards,

    Nest boxes should be taller than the height of the deep litter max height and below the roosts

    Height shouldn't matter unless you don't want to duck

    The pop door keeps out predators, that make it into the run, or it just keeps out the cold

  3. b737drvr

    b737drvr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2012
    Milan, MI
    Hi ToledoClucker. I am about 30 miles north of you up near Milan, MI. I am just getting started building my coop as well, but sounds like you have a good start. The height of your coop should only be dictated by how tall you are or how far you want to bend over when you enter the coop. The recommended height of the nest boxes should be around 18" off the floor, and the roosts should be somewhere above that. I am going to build my first roost about 24" off the floor w/ a removable poop tray underneath. My roosts are going to be on the wall adjacent to the next boxes and opposite the entry door. I am planning on putting the food and water below the poop trays (trusting the trays do what they are supposed to do!) I feel like I am the blind leading the blind, but your plans sound similar to mine. Mine will be an 8x8 foot converted shed coop. Good luck!
  4. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    If you look at my BYC page you'll see how I set up my roost bars and my nest box. I'd try to describe it but the picture works much better.

    I have a sheet of vinyl flooring stapled to the top of my nest box which makes cleaning any poop that drops on top a piece of cake. No poop makes it into the nest box. You'll see that I use 2x4's with the edges rounded off a little bit. They work great... never had a chicken not want to roost on the 2x4's.

    Good luck.
  5. OldRoo

    OldRoo Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 25, 2011
    it wont take very much more materials to build a 4X8, and you wont waste nearly as much
    (plywd is 4X8), by the way I am straight west of you just across the state line. My first coop is a 4X6, and I realized I could have build a 4X8 just as easy, now Im gathering materials for a 8X12, lol
  6. ToledoClucker

    ToledoClucker Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the great replies! A 4x8 coop might be a good idea, as mentioned it will most likely take the same amount of materials, plus more room for the hens! I'll try to update as soon as I start building.
  7. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011

    We made this one with ease.

    It is 4x6. Could have made it 4x8 for the same price but I had space limits.

    I hope the pics help some.
    Things I would do different:
    Make it bigger of course. Make the roof higher so they have more head room. Mine is only 3 foot inside from floor to roof 5 foot would have been much better.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012

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